Make us your home page

If Aloha Utilities overcharged for electricity, some Pasco residents could get refunds

HOLIDAY — State regulators are still trying to determine if former water company Aloha Utilities overcharged customers for streetlight services.

Aloha had paid Progress Energy for the electricity and then billed thousands of west Pasco residents, including many in Tahitian Gardens and Tiki Village, for the service.

The Florida Public Service Commission, after receiving a complaint from state Sen. Mike Fasano's office, began looking into this question in November:

Did Aloha charge customers more than it pays for the services from Progress Energy?

If it did, then the company could be in violation of state law: Companies that resell at a profit are considered electric utilities subject to full regulation by the commission. Residents who paid the fees could be eligible for refunds.

Aloha Utilities sold its water and wastewater services to a governmental authority a year ago but continued billing for street lighting in some neighborhoods.

In October, the former utility's principals — Lynnda Speer and Stephen Watford — filed documents with the state division of corporations to change the company's name to MMLJ Holdings.

Aloha representatives could not be reached Wednesday.

Public Service Commission attorney Curt Kiser told Fasano, a longtime Aloha critic, in an e-mail Wednesday that his staff had trouble getting documentation from the company. And the documentation it did get sheds little light on the matter.

He wrote that Aloha is in the process of turning over its billing arrangement to Progress Energy and the homeowners association.

"We will issue subpoenas if necessary to get the information and determine if refunds are due," Kiser wrote.

Fasano urged Kiser to keep pushing — or else turn the matter over to the Florida attorney general's office for an investigation.

"Aloha will delay and delay until they drain you dry," Fasano wrote. "Don't let them get away with it."

Jodie Tillman can be reached at or (727) 869-6247.

If Aloha Utilities overcharged for electricity, some Pasco residents could get refunds 02/03/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 9:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and estranged wife Carole put Beach Drive condo on the market

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo on the market for $1.5 million.

    Former Florida Gov. and current U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their condo in downtown St. Petersburg on the market for $1.5 million. [Courtesy of Rhonda Sanderford]
  2. First WannaCry, now cyberattack Petya spreads from Russia to Britain


    Computer systems from Russia to Britain were victims of an international cyberattack Tuesday in a hack that bore similarities to a recent one that crippled tens of thousands of machines worldwide.

    A computer screen cyberattack warning notice reportedly holding computer files to ransom, as part of a massive international cyberattack, at an office in Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday.  A new and highly virulent outbreak of malicious data-scrambling software appears to be causing mass disruption across Europe.
[Oleg Reshetnyak via AP]
  3. Higher Social Security payouts help Florida post a big jump in personal income

    Personal Finance

    Personal income grew 1.3 percent in Florida in the first quarter of this year, a four-way tie among all states for second-fastest growth behind Idaho.

  4. Trigaux: Task now is for Water Street Tampa to build an identity


    Adios, VinikVille! Hello Water Street Tampa.

    An aerial rendering of the $3 billion redevelopment project that Jeff Vinik and Strategic Property Partners plan on 50-plus acres around Amalie Arena.
[Rendering courtesy of Strategic Property Partners]
  5. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]